“Online freelancers are not given loans from local banks. The first question the officers ask us is whether EPF/ ETF is deducted
from our salary. This is how they understand whether we have a stable job or not. They refuse to issue us loans because we don’t have a stable job. This is not the case in other countries” Says Sampath, a 25 year old freelancer in Sri Lanka.
Most Sri Lankans involve themselves in online freelancing/ micro work as part time work. This is because they are reluctant to start working online full time. They are unable to prove that they have a secure job and that they can earn a steady income. The banks in Sri Lanka do not issue loans for online workers.
Apart from this, freelancers are not assured that these platforms will be there in the long run. Therefore, they opt to work online part time with a day job. “The other risk of working online is, if something happens someday, if an issue arise, say its because LK regulations, or because of some other reason, you might lose everything all of a sudden. If this happens, I’ll lose my income. In this context, if I have a steady day job, with experience I can go for another job.” This is what Nuwan, a 24 year freelancer said at a focus group discussion on online work.